Singer and actress Charice recalls her friendship with Cory Monteith on the set of "Glee"
Charice: "Like his character Finn Hudson, Cory was so cool"
"My body felt cold when I learned about his death," writes Charice
The actress asks for Cory's fans to unite and celebrate his life and talents
Editor’s Note: Charice is a 21-year-old singer and actress from the Philippines who joined the cast of TV series “Glee” alongside Cory Monteith, playing exchange student Sunshine Corazon. She was once described by Oprah Winfrey as “the most talented girl in the world.”
Friendship is not defined by the length of time two people share together. One defining moment is all it takes for two individuals to call each other friends.
Cory Monteith’s life, short as it was, taught me that lesson. His death, sudden as it was, taught me that lesson.
The defining moment of our friendship happened the third time I joined the cast of “Glee” for yet another memorable shooting experience as Sunshine Corazon. At the set, Cory was cool. Like his character Finn Hudson, Cory was so cool that everything seemed alright with him.
I remember the last time I shot for “Glee,” it was May 9, 2011. It was a long shooting day that swelled into the wee hours of the following morning.
I was a tad emotional when the clock struck 12 midnight – not because I was tired – but because May 10 was my birthday. And I, a girl from the barrio of Gulod in the far-flung Philippines, was alone in America.
My family was not there, my friends were not there, I didn’t have my loved ones there to celebrate my birthday. It didn’t help that we all still had a long way to go on that day at the set of “Glee.”
But Cory came to the rescue, just in time, with his sweet greeting: “Happy birthday, Charice!” A big smile crossed his handsome face. There was sincerity in his tone as he gave me a tight hug. He became family to me at that moment.
In the remaining hours of our shoot, Cory told me he had Googled me and found my date of my birth. Cool Cory’s act of kindness. He told other members of the “Glee” cast that it was my birthday and I was floored at how many of them greeted me with their warm birthday wishes.
My body felt cold when I learned about his death. Too soon, too early, too young. I never thanked Cory enough for that one moment in time when he made me feel like family. I never thanked him enough for making me happy on that lonely day.
Cory has many fans in the Philippines. In my silence, I mourn with so many of them.
Finn was big in my country because “Glee” was big among the many young people in the Philippines. The Filipino people love him because we are a musically-inclined nation and we know how to appreciate real talent. We know how to love real talent.
Many of my Filipino friends ask me what will happen to “Glee” now that Finn is gone. I have no answer to their query. But I lovingly ask them to pray for him – for his peaceful passing.
I am confident he’s singing with the angels now. I am more than confident that his suave style, his cool attitude about everything will endear him more to his new-found winged friends in the afterlife.
To his fans around the world who mourn his passing, I am with you. I know how it feels. Let’s hold each other’s hand. Let’s remember Cory and continue to celebrate his music, his craft, his life. He will forever be in our hearts.
I wish I could also embrace Cory’s loved ones – his family and friends, his girlfriend Lea Michele. I will pray for all of you, too.
Thank you, Mr. Cool. My grateful heart will always miss you – especially so on my birthday.
The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Charice.